If the Apostles "expected" Jesus to return in the first century is that fp?

by booker-t 16 Replies latest jw friends

  • Narkissos

    Short-term eschatological expectations came and went almost cyclically throughout the church history, with or without the prediction of specific dates; there is good evidence that round figures such as AD 500 or 1000 were considered as deadlines in some circles; Joachim of Fiore specifically pointed to 1260 etc.

    Perhaps the earliest, pre-Christian Biblical example of setting and revising dates for the end is provided by the consecutive additions in the conclusion of Daniel (1290 days, 1335 days, 12:11f). But this is probably only the tip of the iceberg, as obviously failed prophecies tend to be actively forgotten if they are not successfully reinterpreted.

    As to the 1st-century, there is massive evidence of short-term expectations for the parousia -- Matthew 10:23, 24:34//, 1 Thessalonians 4 ("we the living") to name but a few. No memory of specific dates, although warnings like "nobody knows the day or hour" (Matthew 24:36//), or "It is not for you to know the times or periods that the Father has set by his own authority," (Acts 1:7) are a strong indication that chronological "prophecies" were indeed frequent in the early Christian nebula (see also 2 Thessalonians 2:1f, "As to the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ and our being gathered together to him, we beg you, brothers and sisters, not to be quickly shaken in mind or alarmed, either by spirit or by word or by letter, as though from us, to the effect that the day of the Lord is already here").

  • Kristofer

    Narkissos, your 2nd Thes reference says "at hand" rather than "already here" in most translations I read. if you read the next two verses it talks about what must happen first. I'm really interested in this false prophecy/date setting especially when it comes to the Catholic Church. Does anyone have references for this?

    Even modern Born-Agains such as Oral Roberts, Billy Graham, Jim and Tammy Bakker and many of the prophecy teachers have set dates that did not materilize.

    I would love to see some source material for these accusations.

    I do take offense at your lumping Billy Graham in with Oral Roberts & the Bakkers, though. I don't think Billy Graham is/was as low as those three you mention.

    As an aside, I met Jim Bakker at the Dream Center in Los Angeles just before he got remarried. He seemed like a truly changed guy. Small guy too.

    However, back to the thread. It doesn't appear to me that the Apostles had set dates in the manner of the JWs or Mormons. While they had questions, according to Acts 1, there doesn't appear to be any over expectation of end times. Besides there were Jesus' apocolyptic utterances about Jerusalem being destroyed, Peter being killed, etc., that seemed to reign in their expectations for a 1st century second coming.

  • Narkissos
    your 2nd Thes reference says "at hand" rather than "already here" in most translations I read. if you read the next two verses it talks about what must happen first.

    Actually I quoted the NRSV which has "is already here". The Greek text uses enesteken, perfect tense of enistemi (literally "stand in") -- "the day has come" would be a correct translation imo, allowing for more or less strict interpretations.

    Of course this statement is rejected by the following verses, which build up an intervening scenario (which by the way contradicts earlier "Pauline" eschatology, e.g. 1 Thessalonians where the end could come any time, without anything remarkable to occur before). Still the text gives us a glimpse of the "imminent expectations" going on among some early Christian circles.

  • peacefulpete

    And for the record Billy Graham has done a great job preserving his image. He is presently accepting something like $400,000 a year salary from donations for doing virtually nothing. He survived the scandal back when he was Nixon's religious advisor and described Jews as Satanic and encouraged the bombing of dikes in Korea so as to drown a million civilians. He also predicted the formation of the state of Israel would precipitate Armagedon. In 1950 he told a rally in Los Angeles, ?Two years and its all going to be over.?

  • frankiespeakin

    The way I see it, Christians ever since they started have taught that the end is near, clearly the words of Jesus (claimed) about the end were about the romans over taking Jerusalem. Since Jesus hasn't materialized yet in a second comming many keep erroneously applying his(claimend) words toward their day.

    This is something that cults do all the time to scare people into their groups and keep them thier. Clearly we have don't to worry about some second comming and the end of the cosmos as talked about in the bible.

    That doesn't mean no end will come, it could come from we ourselves, we humans may bring about our own end of times by the way we exploit the planet, it just won't be by any nonexistant bible god. We may not make ourselves extinct, but I'm sure we will cause a decimation of our population.

  • free2beme

    Yes, but none of those people had the governing body there to guide them, so they were just lost people in the dark. LOL

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